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Syndicate (DOS)

85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

In the future, the world is controlled by a handful of global corporations (syndicates). You are the Marketing director (hit man) for one of these companies. It is your job to take control away from the competitors. The job is not one of diplomacy, but one of brute force and physical control. Advance your way to the top of the corporation by successfully completing your missions and managing the money you make from your territories.

The gameplay is visually reminiscent of X-Com, with an angled top-down perspective, but it is real time rather than turn based. You have missions ranging from infiltrate and capture, to seek and destroy. In each of these you direct a team of four agents as they move through the world shooting at anything that gets in their way.

You can upgrade and modify your agents, as well as equip them with tools you have researched or liberated from opposing syndicates. As you complete missions, you gain more funds to use for purchasing agents or researching upgrades and equipment.

Screenshots

Syndicate DOS Victory Screen
Syndicate DOS I'll kill you for running over 4 -- come back here!
Syndicate DOS Intro Movie
Syndicate DOS Killer Marketing Director

Alternate Titles

  • "הסינדיקט" -- Hebrew spelling
  • "Higher Functions" -- Working title
  • "Cyber Assault" -- Working title
  • "BOB" -- Working title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Another classic Bullfrog game, this time set in a cool cyberpunk dystopia. Evan Kerr (10) unrated
Bullfrog’s Masterpiece saladpuncher (21) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Very good and sometimes very frustrating game phlux (4143) unrated
Interesting at First, then Repetative Tony Van (2688) 3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars
Simply The Best Tony Chaplin (1) unrated
It left a great taste in my mouth........ for almost 8 years. oh noz (5) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Perhaps one of the most addictive action/strategy games of all time... tritium4ever (32) unrated
An original, addictive game... Brian Hirt (10014) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
An excellent and innovative game. Tomer Gabel (4388) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

The Press Says

Power Play Jul, 1993 90 out of 100 90
Power Unlimited Nov, 1993 9 out of 10 90
Jeuxvideo.com Nov 02, 2013 18 out of 20 90
PC Player (Germany) Jul 01, 1993 89 out of 100 89
The DOS Spirit Jul 27, 2006 5 out of 6 83
PC Games (Germany) Jul, 1993 82 out of 100 82
Just Games Retro Jul 11, 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
WIZ Sep, 1993 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
All Game Guide Jun, 1993 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80

Forums

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Syndicate appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Civilians

In pre-release versions of the game, the cities apparently also featured (in addition to the normal civilians) Mothers with baby-carriages and Dogs. These extra innocents were removed from the game before its release.

German version

In the German version, the blood was removed.

Influences

The architecture in the game, aside from more obvious cyberpunk influences, is also inspired by Surrey Research Park, where Bullfrog offices were situated at the time.

Multiplayer

An article by Edge magazine, dated December 4, 2009, and titled "The Making Of: Syndicate" features interviews with several developers of Syndicate.

Among other things, it is revealed that the game was initially developed as a multiplayer game. The developers built and tested it as a network game first. Then, based on the experience they gained from their network games, they started to build single-player missions.

However, during the Quality Assurance process, it was decided that the multiplayer component had to be removed because, in Alex Trowers' words: "EA couldn’t get the network game working on their system, so we had to drop it".

The American Revolt add-on would however restore the multiplayer capability of the game.

Player characters

Syndicate's four character design was based on a similar concept which had been removed from an earlier Bullfrog title, Flood, during development. At one point in production Syndicate had as many as eight on-screen characters to lead, but the number was cut back to four as the majority of the development team felt that controlling so many on-screen characters was unwieldy.

Programming tutorial

Bullfrog did a special feature with UK games mag PC Format, at the time ('93) in which they wrote a C Programming tutorial based on some of the Syndicate code. The tutorial involved using the internal graphics libraries from Syndicate to animate and move agents on the screen. Although the C tutorial was largely useless it was a fairly interesting read for those interested in the way Bullfrog operated.

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1994 – Best Strategical in 1993 (Readers' Vote)
  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #67 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #75 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1994 – Best MS-DOS Game in 1993
Information also contributed by Agent 5, lulalurl, PCGamer77, phlux and Tibes80

Related Web Sites

Brian Hirt (10014) added Syndicate (DOS) on Sep 19, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Famine3h (298), Kartanym (10775), Sciere (256968), Kabushi (122912), Terok Nor (18734) and Indra is here (19704)